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Course content

The aim of the course is to focus on the main features of the law of contracts in various legal systems of the world, to show the common features and the main differences. A proper understanding of the relevant legal systems is necessary, first of all, if one is involved in an international legal relationship. However, insight in various legal systems is very useful also to understand and develop one’s own legal system, especially in light of the stronger and stronger internationalization of the legal sources.

Bilde fra video om emnet
Professor Mads Andenæs tells you why Comparative Private Law is exciting and useful (video with audio).

A proper understanding of various legal systems assumes that these are studied with the correct method. It is not useful to use one’s own legal categories as a starting point, and look for corresponding rules in the foreign system. Often it will not be possible to find corresponding rules, but the foreign system will achieve similar results by adopting other legal mechanisms, that are peculiar to that particular system.

The course will focus on the contract law of the common law and the civil law legal families (which again are to be divided into Romanistic, Germanic and Nordic systems), with references also to the system of the Former Soviet Union and the process that this is undergoing. Attention will also be devoted to the most important instruments of harmonization of contract law on an international level.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Komparativ rett

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

On completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the main features of the contract law of the common law and the civil law legal families, as well as of the most important instrument for the international harmonization of the law of contracts.
  2. Understand the interests and functions underlying the legal rules and legal structures in the respective legal families.
  3. Recognize the different legal techniques that the various legal families adopt to achieve similar results.
  4. Recognize how apparently similar regulations in different legal families may bring to different results.

See ‘Detailed course information’ regarding requirements and syllabus.


You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.

All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.

Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements:

  • Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
  • Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.

Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.

Recommended previous knowledge

Three years of law studies.

Overlapping courses



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


4 hour written open book digital school examination.

Examination support material

This is an open book digital school examination. You are permitted to use any materials written on paper during the examination. This includes books, lecture materials and your own notes, whether handwritten or printed. There are no restrictions on marking up or highlighting these written materials. No electronic support materials are allowed.

Use of sources and rules for citing. 

The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism which apply to assignments apply also to the written open book examination. This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.

Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.

Example of highlighting in a text:

"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"

Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.

Previous exam papers

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria for written examination

This  guide is used by examiners for grading elective courses at the Faculty of Law.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

This subject is taught at Master 's level. The subject is also taught at Bachelor's level (10 ECTS credits), see JUR1240 – Comparative Private Law (BA).
Please see the chapter above, regarding overlap. For instances of overlap, credits will be deducted on the subject at Bachelors's level.

This course is a useful complement to the courses JUS5230 – International Commercial Law, which focuses on the sources regulating international contracts, and JUS5280 – Internasjonal privatrett (in Norwegian), which focus on the question of choice of the applicable law in international legal relationships.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019

This course is discontinued. Students who wish to take a retake of this course have a last opportunity autumn 2019. 

Teaching language